Rachael Ray made Pasta Puttanesca on her show about 20 years ago. I’m sure she’s done it since, but that was the first time I’d heard of the dish. I was at our weekly playgroup. The babies were playing on the floor together, and the moms were chatting and half-watching as Rachael explained, “The ladies of the night used to put Pasta Puttanesca in the windows to entice customers. The dish is named for them. No disrespect to the ladies.” Rachael looked down, grinning in appreciation of her little joke, and all the moms burst out laughing. We all loved the dish! My version has chicken rather than pasta, and a little more complimentary produce.
Jen’s Chicken Puttanesca
Serves 4 to 6, depending on your tribe
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (My package had 3 big ones in it, so I sliced them all in half to make 6 thinner cutlets
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Season on both sides. Heat a nice big nonstick skillet just over medium heat. When it’s hot, add olive oil, and cook the chicken to an internal temp of 165 degrees F. Remove and set aside.
Don’t clean the skillet! That’s deliciousness in there!
Olive oil – add enough so that there’s still 2 tablespoons in there.
1 red pepper – chopped
Add and stir til it starts to soften, about 2 ½ minutes.
1 Tablespoon anchovy paste
6 cloves garlic – minced
Add and stir for about 30 seconds
28 ounces diced tomatoes
¾ cup olives – halved – I like a mixture of Kalamata and Castelvetrano
Add and simmer til most of the liquid evaporates, about 12 minutes. You don’t need to add any salt here because both the olives and anchovies add saltiness.
A handful of arugula or a mix
A chicken breast
The luscious sauce
Capers (I had about 2 Tablespoons total)
Serve with oranges.
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My favorite non-stick skillet.
My favorite knife. It’s a 7″ full tang Santoku. I chose the Ikon handle design, which is wonderfully ergonomic. I have spent hours on a produce sculpture before and my hand was just as comfy at the end. It’s worth the pennies.